June 13, 2010
I'm not sure what to call this, but I've been having fun experimenting with a form of exercise that involves creating your own resistance. What you do is imagine that there is a force opposing your motion, and then you slowly overcome that imaginary force, or conversely, slowly allow that imaginary force to overcome your resistance.
Ok, so perhaps that's not the clearest picture. To use an example: From a standing position, I might pretend to do a bench press. By imagining that I am actually pushing a weight away from me, what I believe happens is that your body contracts the muscles in your back which would normally be used to pull something towards yourself. And by overcoming this force, you are contracting your chest muscles -- the muscles you actually use to do a bench press.
I find this interesting because:
|You are using not just the typical muscles for a given movement, but also the opposing muscles. This is a good thing, as I've discovered from times when I would only, say, do pushups, and after a few weeks you start to feel like your body is actually becoming misshapen because your chest muscles are overly tight and your back muscles can't resist them, when you're at rest.|
|It doesn't require any equipment.|
|It is efficient, You don't need to go anywhere. You don't need to swap machines, or get or put away anything.|
|It is inexpensive / free.|
|You can do it almost anywhere, whether you're at home or traveling.|
|It involves using your imagination -- which is kind of hokey, but also kind of fun.|
More generally, it's fun to think up exercises that you can do without any equipment by using your imagination.
For example, pretending there's a 2 foot high fence in front of you and then jumping over it, either forwards, or to the side.
Another example: Pretending to throw a ball forwards, or upwards, overhand or underhand. Or kicking a ball, etc.
As I said, kind of goofy it would seem, but I have found it to be kind of fun and mentally refreshing.
One last thought: When you practice a motion of the body without the physical thing you would normally do it with, whether that be a ball, or whatever, I find that my mind focuses more on my own body and the various motions or muscular contractions involved, whereas if you were to actually throw a ball (etc) your mind becomes very fixated on the actual object and the resulting motion of that object, almost as if the object were a part of your body. (I've heard a similar thing said about how the human brain thinks about a tool that you're using) This change in focus from external to internal is notable and is perhaps useful for learning motions from another complementary perspective.